Carl Craft

Carl Craft

Carl Craft

The Toy Hall of Fame nominees were announced and you can vote on which toy gets in this year!

I love this time of year! The National Toy Hall of Fame has announced the nominees for the 2023 Class of inductees. The National Toy Hall of Fame is organized by the staff at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.

This is a great time of year because we’re reminded of all the fun stuff we got to play with as a kid. As you look at the list you may say to yourself, “I remember that!” or “I can’t believe that toy isn’t in the Hall of Fame yet!”

In case you missed last year’s winners, the winners were: Lite-Brite, Masters of the Universe and the Top (the toy you spin).  Two of this year’s nominees were also nominated last year but they didn’t make the cut.

Unlike the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame there’s very little hand-wringing over who gets nominated, who gets in or who doesn’t want to be in.  It’s toys!  We’re all good!

Only three of the toys listed below will get the nod this year. The fun part is that YOU can vote on it but going to the Strong Museum of Play website.  The winners will be announced on November 9th.  Fan votes will be accepted this week!

Just being a nominee for the Toy Hall of Fame is an honor, but being enshrined in such a place – well – that’s a true distinction! So get in there and vote, Rat Rock Nation!  The toys are depending on you!

  • Baseball Cards

    Remember how awesome it was to get a card that you actually wanted in the pack? Each pack of baseball cards was like a Russian Roulette of fun! And remember how awful and wonderful that stick of gum was?! And somehow one of these always ended up in my bicycle tires, LOL! Baseball cards are big business these days if you happened to get a player that actually did something with their career, but it’s the memories of these that gets my vote in the Toy Hall of Fame.

    Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees

    NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 21: A man sells vintage baseball cards prior to the start of the last game at Yankee Stadium between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees on September 21, 2008 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Yankee Stadium held it’s inaugural game on April 18, 1923 against the Boston Red Sox and tonight’s match will be the final game to be played at the historic stadium. During it’s 85 years as ”The Home of Champions,” the stadium has also been known as ”The House that Ruth Built” and ”The Cathedral.” The stadium has been host to 33 World Series, three Papal visits and has been visited by legends such as Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Bera, Mickey Mantle and boxing great Muhummad Ali. In 2009 the Yankees will move across the street to a newly constructed stadium estimated to cost $1.3 billion. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

    Odds of getting in this year:  6 out of 10.


  • Battleship

    “You sunk my battleship!” was the classic slogan from the commercials during Saturday morning cartoons; everyone remembers that!  This game was so good that they came out with an electronic version of Battleship.  I remember enjoying that but nothing beats the original with the white and red pegs.  This was one of the first games that I remember coming in travel size!  Battleship is fun because it teaches the concept of honesty while playing a game.

    Game Maker Habro

    Battleship has been nominated for the Toy Hall of Fame.

    Odds of getting in this year:  4 out of 10.


  • Bingo

    This game gets bigger and bigger as America gets older and shows up at churches and Knights of Columbus for Bingo night.  A more heated evening of gaming could hardly be imagined.  But did you know that Bingo dates back to the 1500’s in Italy?  Can you imagine the penalty for jumping the gun back then?!  Get the guillotine!  These days there’s even online Bingo which supposedly offers cash prizes too.  This thing started as a fun game to play at home but it’s a serious money-making monster now.

    "Painted Turtle Camp" Bingo Benefit

    LOS ANGELES – FEBRUARY 16: Actress Maggie Grace calls the bingo game at the “Painted Turtle Camp” Bingo Benefit at The Roxy Theatre on February 16, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. The event featured a Celebrity Bingo Game and Auction to benefit the “Painted Turtle Camp” for children.

    Odds of getting in:  3 in 10.


  • Bop-It

    I gotta be honest, I don’t know jack squat about Bop-It. When Bop-It came out in 1996, I was working 14 hours a day getting this radio station on the map and then drinking heavily for the other 14 hours of the day. I didn’t have time for this nonsense. But, I’m told that Bop-It was kind of like and electric version of “Simon Says”. Players have to bop it, or twist it or pull it and remember the order of the moves.

    Odds of getting in:  1 in 10.

  • Cabbage Patch Kids

    I never got into the doll thing as a kid but even Cabbage Patch Kids caught my attention because they were an outright phenomenon.  Any Christmas present that sent parents into fist fights with each other really should get a nod for the Toy Hall of Fame.  Cabbage Patch Kids were exactly that.  Remember how these came with their birth certificate and adoption papers?  Adorable.  These days an original CPK can fetch a few thousand dollars at auction.

    Odds of getting in:  9 in 10.

  • Choose Your Own Adventure

    The Choose Your Own Adventure books sold over 250 m million copies from their release in 1979 to their demise in 1998. The series was relaunched in 2003. These books were amongst the first that showed young people what literature could do:  take you to places you never dreamed.  But these books did it in a way that put you in control; long before electronics came along to do that for you.

    Despite the warning at the front of the book which said, “You can never go back!”  We always did…

    Odds of getting in:  5 out of 10.


  • Connect 4

    This is definitely one of those, “How is this not in the Hall of Fame already” moments.  Connect 4 is simple enough that really young kids can do it, but is complicated enough that it’s fun to play for older kids too.  There’s giant versions of Connect 4.  There’s travel versions of Connect 4.  There’s even tournaments with real prizes!  Connect 4, it’s a classic!

    Remember this classic Connect 4 commercial?

    Odds on getting in:  8 out of 10.

  • Mattel's Ken Doll

    The popularity of Barbie is at an all-time high thanks to the Barbie movie. Big time box office rewards have led to a resurgence of interest in the whole genre. Guess how many Barbie and Ken costumes we’re going to see at adult Halloween parties this year?! A ton! Getting the nomination is the Ken doll. After seeing how Ken was treated in the movie, I wouldn’t be surprised it he got passed over this year.

    Odds on getting in: 4 in 10.

  • Little Tykes Cozy Coupe

    When I first read, “Little Tykes?” I thought, “What the heck is that?” Then I read, “That little car with the yellow body and red top” and I thought, “Heck yeah I know that that is!!!” Quite literally, everyone’s first car.

    Odds on getting in: 6 in 10.

  • Nerf Toys

    Stop. Just stop it if you’ve never heard of Nerf. Nerf is everything! For a lot of us, the introduction to Nerf was a football (that probably turned into a dog chew toy at some point, lol!) These days Nerf has morphed into so much. Balls, bats, battles, you name it. But beyond the Nerf pseudo-sporting way of life is the Nerf gun and the massive Nerf battles that go down in every neighborhood!

    Odds on getting in: 7 in 10

  • Slime

    Slime is as kid friendly a toy as anything! Watching a kid play with slime can be one of the most magical things. However cleaning slime up off a carpet? That’s the work of the DEVIL! LOL! I speak from personal experience. Slime is such a cool thing to play with that there’s a museum of slime in New York City. It’s basically a big room of different kinds of slime, but still… pretty awesome.

    Fun thing about slime is that you can make it at home yourself!

    Odds on getting in: 4 in 10

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turlets

    They started out as a parody of superheroes like Superman but they turned into a multi-dimensional, multi-platform icon of their own making. They even have a new Seth Rogan produced movie to try to reboot the whole thing for 2023.

    The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brought us Turtle Power!

    Odds on getting in:  5 in 10

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